How to prevent water spots on stainless steel sinks

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Steel is resistant to corrosion or rust, but water droplets can ruin its look. When water droplets come into contact with your kitchen sink, it dissolves its surface layer, making it look dull and grayish. This may leave you wondering how to prevent water spots on stainless steel sinks.

Water spots on the stainless steel sink can ruin the appearance of the kitchen sink. You have probably witnessed this if your water splashes into your sink. But you don’t have to fret if you are equipped with handy tips to keep water spots off your kitchen sink.

Your stainless steel sink is made of 18/8 stainless steel. Use the following tips to prevent water spots from your stainless steel sink. 

15 Ways to Prevent Water Spots on Your Kitchen Sink

Stainless Steel sink

Use the following ways to prevent water spots on your stainless sink:

1. Use safe for stainless steel, cleaning products

You should use safe cleaning products and avoid those that can harm your steel sink. These products comprise scouring powders, dish detergents, and many other household cleaners. Avoid those that are not steel-friendly, as they will harm your sink. 

2. Keep the sink surface dry

If you are doing the dishes in the sink, ensure that you keep it dry when through. Also, ensure that the surrounding area is also dry to prevent moisture from causing water spots on your sink. 

3. Rinse soap scum

Soap scum is caused by alkaline-based soaps or hard water. Therefore, when soap reacts with minerals in the water, it forms scum. Water hardness is a result of high levels of magnesium and calcium ions.

When soap comes into contact with these ions, the ions combine with soap molecules creating an insoluble salt known as lather. It may build over time and drip down the side of your sink. Therefore, remember to wipe away scum and dry the sink when washing utensils. 

4. Use a sponge to remove soap scum

A clean sink

Image Credits: Pxabay

Soap scum on your sink or its sides should be wiped off using a sponge before it dries up. 

5. Wipe the sink after each wash

Wipe down your sink after each wash to remove any leftover soap scum

6. Don’t overload the sink

When you overload your sink, excess water may run out of the faucet, resulting in water spots on your stainless steel sink.

7. Get rid of dirty utensils from your dishwasher

You should not leave dirty utensils on your dishwasher as they may also lead to spotting of your stainless steel kitchen sink as the machine uses hot water.

8. Check your sink’s drain line

It is advisable to regularly check the drain line to make sure it does not clog. A clogged drain leads to water spots on the bottom of your kitchen stainless steel sink.

9. Often change your detergent 

When you change your dishwater more often, you help keep the sink clean. Ensure you change dish detergents at least once monthly.

10. Clean your sink’s underneath

Stainless steel sink

Image Credits:

Clean the bottom of your sink regularly to ensure that all the parts of your sink are free of debris.

11. Run the sink with hot water

Running cold water through the sink helps prevent water spots on your sink. But cold water has less energy than hot water; therefore, you should run hot water on your sink regularly. 

12. Have a stainer above the sink

Installing a stainer above the sink helps to keep food particles out of the drain.

13. Have a splash guard on the sink

Installing a splash guard on your sink helps prevent drops of water from splashing against the sink, reducing the chances of water spotting on the kitchen sink. 

14. Purchase a cover for your stainless steel sink

A stainless steel sink cover helps protect the surfaces of your ink. While this cover does not stop water spots on your sink, it reduces its appearance.

15. Replace old faucets

Old faucets of your stainless steel sink can leak, leading to water spots on the sink. Therefore, replace the old ones with new sink faucets to prevent spotting issues.

Avoid These Things 

Stainless steel sink

 Image Credits:

By preventing water spots on your kitchen sink and removing spots, you now have a sparkling stainless steel sink that looks as good as new. It is, therefore, crucial to understand some things that could have the potential of staining your sink again. For instance, do not keep soap cleaners, rags, towels, or sponges to dry on the sink. These can easily dull the area they occupy. They are also known to harbor bacteria and other harmful elements.

Avoid using steel wool pads on your sink because they usually have some iron particles which could easily corrode the sink or make it rust. Finally, ensure you rinse it regularly to wipe out the chlorides in most cleaners.

How to Get Rid of Spots Left By Water Drops On Your Stainless Steel Sink

Suppose you are worried about water spots on your kitchen’s stainless steel sink; the only remedy is removing the stains regularly. Read on to learn various methods to remove water spots on your stainless steel sink.

Method 1: Use Vinegar

If you do not have vinegar, use lemon juice because both are very acidic. Follow these steps, and you shall notice the difference.

  • Spray the lemon juice or the white distilled vinegar throughout your sink and outside. Once evenly sprayed, let it settle for about 5 minutes.
  • The acidic nature of lemon juice or vinegar will break down hard water stains on the sink. Once it has broken down the water stains, sprinkle baking soda throughout the sink and its outside just as you did with vinegar. 
  • Using a soft sponge or a piece of cloth, scrub the stainless steel sink as it helps in removing the water spots, effectively leaving your sink sparkling. If the results don’t meet your expectations, repeat the process. Or try another method.

Method 2: Using olive oil

Stainless steel sink

Image Credits:

Experts advise that when such stains have built up over time and have become hard to remove, you use a stronger ingredient such as olive oil. Therefore with olive oil with you, follow these steps to get rid of water stains on your stainless steel sink.

  1. Fold a paper towel and apply some olive oil to it. Squish it around so that the olive oil soaks completely in the paper towel
  2. Starting from left to right, wipe the entire sink to remove stubborn water spots on your sink
  3. Once you are through, your sink will look sparkling clean, like a brand-new one.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my stainless steel sink have watermarks?

As seen, stainless steel tends to react with hard water causing spots and watermarks. These lime and other minerals leave white spots on your kitchen sink once the moisture dries up. However, you can remove them using the mentioned methods and have a sparkling clean sink. Cleaning and drying your sink regularly remove those stains and prevents them from reappearing. 

Is it possible to make my stainless steel sink look new again?

Stainless steel sinks look pretty nice until their surfaces come into contact with minerals found in hard water. Using the tips mentioned above to prevent water spots on your sink will ensure the sink remains dry every time, looking as good as new. However, if the damage has already been done, clean it up with vinegar or lemon juice or wipe it with olive oil to remove the spots and make it look new. 

What am I not supposed to use on stainless steel sink?

Knowing what you should or should not use on your stainless steel kitchen sink is important, given that some things can ruin it. For instance, a hand brush or steel wool can scratch the surfaces of your sink, making it prone to stains and rust. On the other hand, Abrasive cleaners will also scratch it and make its finish look dull. Finally, do not use chlorine or bleach cleaners as they stain and damage your stainless steel kitchen sink. 

I want my stainless steel sink to look clean and shiny, but I do not know how?

 Try cleaning your stainless steel sink using various cleaning materials and find a suitable one out of the rest. You can also clean it using a paste of baking soda and water and experience the results. Also, rinse it using vinegar or lemon juice. These will naturally disinfect your sink and removes stubborn stains from your kitchen sink. When the sink is clean, it is easy to add more sparkle.


A shiny stainless steel kitchen sink gives your kitchen a decent look. Steel is not affected by rust and damage; hence, it is used in kitchens for its durability.

Moreover, it is used in making kitchen sinks for its affordability and durability. Today, there are several ways to remove stains due to water droplets on your sink, but some don’t even work.

Nonetheless, if you stick to the described ways to get rid of water stains on the sink, you will achieve excellent results. Since this material is one of the most used in our kitchens, polishing it is inevitable. Though the process might seem detailed, it is necessary. 

Featured Image Credits: Image Credits: Pixabay

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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